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Messages - Orbiter

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: Today at 08:37:10 AM »
Unfortunately today in the morning of day 15, I relapsed. It was only once this time, relatively short and to quite mild content but a relapse none the less. I shall take some time tomorrow to properly think it over but I think a combination of stress & worry on top of the withdrawals lead to this and I clearly have more work to do in both managing my emotions and setting a better weekend routine. I still managed to make a good day out of the rest of the day and although I am disappointed, I have not given up.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 30, 2020, 06:18:14 AM »
^ We all are, you can do it KittyHawk!

Sending you well wishes from afar Shade. Hope you're doing ok and getting well.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 30, 2020, 06:09:54 AM »
Thanks metal & Shade.

I can strongly relate to what you're saying metal. Identity I feel is a necessary anchor to stand up to and deal with the problems we face in our life. Even if everything else falls apart, if we have a sense of identity and values to live by we can steer the course. Mine is a work in progress I admit, but i've come along way over the years from where I once was.

Shade, I have read about CBT before. Years ago I found a fascinating online workshop on it that was put out as part of Mental Health Week but i've forgotten most of that. I should look into some online resources for it. Any tools I can get my hands on to help really.

Today me and my father finally got out to visit my mothers grave & pay our respects. It's never easy but I feel it gets a little bit easier every year. Maybe time does heal?

Lots of PMO memories & urges were resurfacing today but I was able to manage it without too much difficulty. On the other hand my mood has absolutely tanked today. I know there's a lot i'm tackling at once right now but oh boy do I feel so bad today. An early night, lots of sleep and give things another go tomorrow is my plan. No relapses tonight.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 29, 2020, 01:59:18 AM »
Thanks Shade & KittyHawk

Re the junk food. I have since my early 20s focused on eating a quite healthy balanced diet and have maintained this habit even through periods of quite heavy drinking and other substance abuse. My addictions these days are caffeine, nicotine and porn. And i'm definitely not able or even willing to tackle all three of those addictions at once. One of the reasons I wrote about it was that it seemed so out of the blue to me. My theory is my brain is trying to seek the novelty & instant gratification in other areas.

In regards to stress and the work situation. I gave the situation some good thought, accepted that it is what it is, planned the best I can for it and need to let it go so I can enjoy my weekend. Ruminating & worrying is a serious problem for me and i've been doing some reading today between the physical & emotional relationship of stress. Using the idea that sometimes obsessive fixation is a result of the physical sensation of stress and not vice-versa, I exercised some breathing & mental refocusing techniques and was surprised at how calm I felt afterwards. The situation is still what it is but I was somewhat more at peace with it.

As for PMO, I kept my promise of an early night last night and did not relapse. I have been staying clean and haven't had any serious urges today. Some vaguely sexual imagery in my dreams last night but nothing particularly interesting, disturbing or noteworthy.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 29, 2020, 01:42:54 AM »
Great stuff KittyHawk! Glad you've been able to stay back on track.

I feel we can all relate to that detached vacant feeling. Drifting through the days, never really affected or engaged in life the same way as others, being surprised at our own behaviour when to others they can set it written all over us. I believe this disconnection is at least in part a long term effect of this habit which is also why it unfortunately provides such an effective escape from bad feelings.

We've all got some catching up to do in regards to building this mental & emotional reconnection with our lives but thankfully you have loved ones who clearly do care about you and of course you've got our support too. Keep going!

By the way that Tara Brach talk was fantastic.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 28, 2020, 07:29:01 AM »
So I got some bad news at work today. I am going to be assigned to work some days ongoing with a very challenging client from next week on. I focused on planning, preparing and asking for advice from colleagues today at work so I wasn't too worried there. It was when I got home that it was more difficult. It sounds bad but I wanted to relapse so badly today. I found myself wandering onto some random swimsuit search but stopped myself and took a break from the computer. I went outside, had a cigarette and waited until it passed,

Bad news and anxiety over the future is clearly an enormous trigger for me. I have noticed I have been spending more money over the last week and have eaten junk food twice this week (I have no done this for some time). Clearly my brain is finding way to get a dopamine hit.

I'm going to log off for the rest of the day and sleep on this. I have no intention of relapsing tonight.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 28, 2020, 07:19:58 AM »
Wow i'm quite impressed you managed to stop there. Usually by the time i'm doing that i'm well past the point of no return. How did you manage to stop yourself? What were you thinking/feeling at the time?

My opinion? If you were able to stop this time, forget about it, regroup and keep going. What you decide to do with your counter is up to you but try not to worry too much about streaks or days, another day without PMO is another day without PMO. Perfectionism, if overly self-critical, is only going to lead you back into those negative thought patterns.

Stay strong KittyHawk

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 27, 2020, 08:14:35 AM »
Thanks Shade. The past few days have been busier than usual. Lately I have only had time at the end of the day to write my daily entry. I don't want to spend too much time on the computer at this time but it's important for me to keep posting at least something.

Journaling seems to have more or less become a daily habit now, like showering or brushing teeth. It along with several other changes seem to be helping at present so i'm making sure to keep this up.

Little to report today other than i'm another day clean. No urges though I felt somewhat tired and unmotivated, which makes sense considering my mood seems to steadily drop through the 10-20 day mark (I believe i'm at day 11 today, I actually had to think about it today as I hadn't been keeping track). I will need to be vigilant as I am nearing the end of the working week and urges may soon resurface. Taking life one day at a time and addressing the days individual challenges as they come seems to be working well for me.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 26, 2020, 07:23:58 AM »
Another short entry today unfortunately as it's late, i've been working almost all of today and shouldn't spend too long on a computer in this situation, but i'm still doing ok. Urges are low, libido low, few temptations or triggers. Mood has been ok. Not bad, not great, kind of up-and-down but overall ok.

I should have more time tomorrow to write a more detailed post and respond to some other journals.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 25, 2020, 11:14:59 AM »
Thanks Shade, so far so good this week. I'm taking it one day at a time though.

It's super late here and I shouldn't be awake so no long entry today but i'm still clean & doing ok.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 23, 2020, 09:36:56 PM »
Thanks for the list Shade, this is really good. I shall endeavour to internalize it and make it a new habit over the coming days.

So it has been a couple of days since I last posted here. Due to the aforementioned social committments I have fallen behind in my journal. Though it has been nice to see friends again and get out of my own head over the last few days, it highlights the challenging balancing act of maintaining life & friendships but not over extending and not losing focus on the goals. I have not relapsed but have caught myself wandering into some questionable, borderline parts of the internet due to being tired & mindlessly browsing (when I told myself merely days ago I would not). Today is thankfully a quiet day and I have time to regroup & refocus before the working week begins again.

Ages 30-39 / Re: The Road Less Travelled
« on: May 23, 2020, 09:26:03 PM »
I think a big part of this journey we're on is self-discovery. When an individual uses a habit or addiction to escape a problem, they never learn to understand much less find solutions to it. Understanding triggers, feelings buried below the surface and the underlying reasons we do the things we do comes with this and though relapses are unfortunate (i've had more than I could even count) if we learn from them it brings us not only closer to breaking this terrible habit but hopefully we'll also grow from what we've become into the sort of person we ultimately want to be.

Wishing you the best of luck. Don't forget to watch out for the chaser effect over the next week or so.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 23, 2020, 09:15:59 PM »
Great going KittyHawk! Keep up the good work

Hi Shade,

Though i'm sorry to hear of your recent relapse, it's inspiring to see how you've taken this setback and reflected on it, formed a clear understanding of it and have made a concrete plan of action to address it. If we can use these relapses to learn and motivate, I feel more and more this is the way to move towards genuinely breaking free of this habit.

I'll be checking in over the coming days, i'm interested to hear how the next few days go. Rooting for you as always!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 21, 2020, 07:22:21 AM »
Mood seems to have slightly improved today. I think there might be a client at work that i've had difficulty in the past that my work wants me to resume work with which has been a source of some stress & worry. Still, I must hold on to what I have learned over the last few weeks and keep on tasks. As addicts often we're going to be faced with challenges in life and we have a choice, to face & resolve them in some way or let ourselves be kicked around by life and seek refuge in our vices. Perhaps this might be a growing experience, I don't know.

Either way, it's been another day clean.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 21, 2020, 07:17:54 AM »
I think keeping up the daily journal entries, regardless of how short or what they contain is in itself a benefit. As a ritual, I can see how it's a good daily reminder that we're still committed and focused towards achieving the goal of being ultimately free of this.

Keep up the good work KittyHawk

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 20, 2020, 06:33:26 AM »
Today my mood was much lower. There were a few points during work today where I really had to check myself to make sure I wasn't being overly arguementative or surly towards colleagues. I left today feeling like I could have done much better and will endeavor to do so tomorrow.

I think one thing contributing to this is I agreed to catch up with a group of friends this Friday. One of them, i've held some secret unrequited feelings towards, I think I may have touched upon it earlier in some of the journal entries two or three months ago. Though I have not come outright and said it, I can tell that she does not reciprocate these feelings and nothing will come from it. I haven't had to worry about this for awhile as until recently, social gatherings were completely restricted in my country. I'm thinking of not going to this gathering as i'm not in the headspace yet to tackle this issue on top of everything else. Group gatherings involving heavy drinking also seem like they'd be simply too overwhelming for me to enjoy.

Though isolation has been difficult, I feel in the time I have had to myself, I have had some revelations on things in my life that were not working and ways I would like to change how I live. Less drinking & partying is a big one. I actually look back on life pre-covid with very little fondness or desire to return. If I am totally honest, i'm worried that if i'm not careful, i'll slip back into living patterns of old that leave me feeling frustrated, fatigued, despondent and ultimately lead back into the same cycle of self-medicating stress & disappointment with PMO.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 19, 2020, 07:36:31 AM »
Thanks Shade,

Take your time by all means. From the sounds of things you have a lot on your plate at the moment. All the more reason I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and provide support.

So today was much like yesterday, same mood swings, same blah. Still I got through another day of work. A positive that I have cultivated is recently I have been writing some songs again with my electric guitar. I have built some momentum with this and have been playing fairly regularly again which I am very happy about. Now that I have a coulple of new songs i've written, I can enjoy playing & jamming with them even if i'm too exhausted to write or create anything new in a particular session.

Oh and for when I look back on this journal in the future, I made it to day 13 with no P and day 16 no PMO.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Heavy addicts small victories
« on: May 19, 2020, 07:22:18 AM »
Hi KittyHawk, sorry to hear about the recent relapses. I did the same recently and can relate to the dissappointment and feelings of despondency you're clearly experiencing right now. I've been thinking about your posts much of today and had some thoughts and feelings about them that I hope can be of some help.

One thing I hope you understand when the dust settles and things become a bit clearer that this has not been time wasted. Perhaps if life merely revolved around abstaining from PMO and monitoring the firmness of erections, one might be justified in feeling this way, but of course we both know it doesn't. The insights you've had journaling, the benefits you've percieved, quality of time that you have spent with your wife, and time taken to heal your brain are benefits that the relapse has not taken away from you. Dwelling on this in such a way is our addicted brains tricking us into believing there's no hope which only justifies more relapses. These thoughts are a trap we do not have to fall for.

Do not worry, do not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.

Re planned liasons with the wife, unless you're facing pressure to do so from her, there's no need to worry about sex right now. Maybe try giving yourself a week to get your head clear and see where you're at. The opportunity will be there when you're ready and so will she.

One thing I was struck me was the four hour long edging session you were talking about. I'm wondering, especially given the careful measures you've put in place to limit phone and computer usage plus the presence of your wife being around, how you were able to make the time to edge for four hours? What time of day or night was it? Where was she? What room of the house were you in at the time? What were you doing before you started? What was running through your mind leading up to it etc. I think if perhaps we break down some more details, perhaps a deeper trigger and some practical strategies could be thought of.

Rooting for you as always KittyHawk. You can do this!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 18, 2020, 07:11:20 AM »
Just checking in to say i'm doing ok, tired but ok. My mood is still going from high to low and back again many times in a day. Not much that can be done but to ride the storm, maintain the necessary self-awareness to know where i'm at in myself and treat myself accordingly. I have been reaching out to some friends who are having a much tougher time dealing with this than I am. Though it is important to be there for them, I need to remember i'm in a fairly fragile state of mind myself and not to over-extend.

I think I have been feeling some chaser effect  urges but my mind is so absorbed in other matters that it hasn't been a serious challenge to deal with. Later in the week, this might be a different story. I was doing some reading on peoples experiences of the chaser effect and it surprised me to hear that for many, it can actually last to up to a week after the relapse. This makes total sense to me and could explain a big reason of why I get stuck in these downward relapse spirals after 'long' streaks. I always thought the chaser effect was something that dissappeared after the first two days so I focus on getting through them but let my guard down as the days pass. It's certainly been food for thought going into this week.

I had a strange dream last night that I was hanging out with a group of strangers at their place, a young man and woman. I remember feeling like i'd only met them that night. The sun was coming up, there had been some party and i'd stayed behind drinking and chain-smoking with them after everyone else had left. The guy left the room and didn't return for some time. I was chatting with the woman when all of a sudden, she came up close to me and suddenly locked lips, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I remember asking her what was going on and she said she'd pushed a high dose of LSD into my mouth. I flipped out, yelling at her saying I didn't want to take it, I had things to do the following day and wasn't in a good place of mind for it. I started packing all my belongings getting ready to leave when her parents come past and start telling me what a nice person I seemed and how they liked that I was hanging out with her. I kept packing my things, rushed out the door into the morning light and woke up...

...don't know what to make of it but it's really stuck with me today.

Hey Shade,

Sorry to hear of the stressors you've been facing going back to work. I can relate strongly as my work has been experiencing some significant financial hardships despite being an essential service. Since March our job security has been very uncertain and though i'm doing ok at the moment, who knows what the next few months may bring. As scary as it is, I feel it's good to be working and knowing there is some money coming in during times like this. Focusing on the job itself and accepting that I can't control what happens beyond that has been of some comfort and given me something to ultimately be thankful for as there are others doing it much harder. I wish you the best of luck with this all the same.

Though I am probably the last person who should be making observations on relationships or marriages it's sounds like, as difficult as it is, these conversations with your wife have been both productive in addressing some issues that have affected your lives for a long time as well as opened up some constructive communication to healing for both of you. There is a lot to reflect on and a lot of harsh realities we all have to face, but I feel if we can deal with them unselfishly, with humility and a genuine desire to grow, only good things can come from it.

We're all rooting for you. Keep up the great work.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 17, 2020, 06:46:11 AM »
Thanks for your support Shade. It really helps, especially when forgiving ourselves for setbacks like these.

The more optomistic part of my personality tends to believe there is opportunity and lessons to be learnt from any failure, calamity or even setback such as this. Three things that immediately spring to mind are:

Firstly, when looking at how this happened, I was spending too much time mindlessly browsing which lead me to where I was. I need to restart the mindful browsing habits I enacted with reasonable success last year i.e only using the internet with specific purpose and closing the computer or phone when I am done.

Secondly, I stumbled upon some triggering material on an online site looking for a TV show, which eventually led to the relapse. I need to stick to reputable, safe sources/areas of the internet in future.

Thirdly, I don't really have any strategies for dealing with urges. I have had little success with this in the past. I will consider this though any suggestions are welcome!

I also have not addressed my tendency to relapse at the end of the working week. I need to take getting through these days more seriously and work on some sort of planner to get through them.

On a more positive note, I feel like I have bounced back better than expected today. I am still focused on bettering myself and my place in life and even the small amount of progress I have made over the last two weeks has made so much of a difference. This is motivating me to push through. I have been doing a lot of research into areas of personal, financial & creative development I can do and have started formulating a rough plan and set some goals. I will go into more detail as this becomes more concrete.

I will also continue to post here daily despite the rebootnation challenge coming to an end today. Posting here, journaling my thoughts and the support that everyone who has posted here has showed keeps me focused on recovery, accountable and reminds me everyday that PMO is not an option anymore. So thank you all, onwards and upwards from here.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: May 16, 2020, 07:37:33 AM »
And just like that I relapsed...twice. I accidentially stumbled upon some triggering material and soon realised I didn't have a strategy in place to deal with it. Tomorrows another day and I will assess & regroup then.

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